First phase of Innovate ABQ project to start in summer

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s been in the works for years. A project to bring an innovation district to downtown Albuquerque is set to break ground this summer. The city says it’s a big start in creating Albuquerque’s future businesses.

Soon an empty lot north of the Old First Baptist Church will turn into phase one of the Innovate ABQ project. Earlier, Mayor Richard J. Berry said it’s the perfect spot for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Downtown Albuquerque is really booming. We’ve had over a hundred million dollar investments come into downtown. This Innovate ABQ site is really the cornerstone of our movement here,” said Mayor Berry.

The city announced Innovate ABQ will start phase one of the construction this summer. It’s going to be a six story, 160,000 square foot building where University of New Mexico students from all different majors can learn about innovation and entrepreneurship.

The building will also have a science and technology center and space for UNM’s innovation academy.

That’s not all. There will be 155 two-bedroom and two-bath apartments for students to live there. Innovate ABQ says this building will be a great recruitment tool for employers.

“It’s important to have the students down here, because that’s who the companies want to give access to. As they create more internships, part-time jobs, they’re looking to get that energy and that knowledge that they bring forward into their innovations,” said Terry Laudick, CEO of Innovate ABQ.

Construction is expected to start this summer. The building should be ready to go in August 2017.

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